Prime Minister Robert Fico, together with Finance Minister Peter Kažimír and Environment Minister Peter Žiga, left for the US to discuss the future of the Košice-based steelworks with top representatives of the U.S. Steel company at its headquarters in Pittsburg, the SITA newswire reported on March 24.
“As the negotiations advanced to the last phase, some open questions require intervention at the highest level,” said spokesperson for PM Beatrice Hudáková, as quoted by SITA.
The delegation is being accompanied Košice’s major, Richard Raši, since the leadership of the city “cares about the stay of one of the biggest employers in eastern Slovakia in Košice”, Linda Šnajdárová from Košice’s magistrate told SITA.
Last November U.S. Steel said it was considering offers for USSK, one of the flagship United States investments in Slovakia, which were interesting enough to explore. The firm confirmed that there had been talks about a potential sale, but remained tight-lipped about the identity of potential buyers. The media later speculated that one possible buyer could be the Ukrainian firm Metinvest, which belongs to the System Capital Management group owned by Ukrainian oligarch Rinat Akhmetov.
Economy Minister Tomáš Malatinský said on March 20 that U.S. Steel’s departure from Košice is not actual at the moment, and that he hopes the steelworks will remain after next year.
Though the Slovak government has already offered to the US investor some benefits that would include various savings in energy and environmental costs as an attempt to persuade it to remain in Slovakia, Malatinský did not specify what those were, the Sme daily wrote.
The minister believes that the negotiations will be successful for Slovakia, at least for the short-term, SITA reported.
Source: SITA, Sme
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
25. Mar 2013 at 14:00